Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The New Hampshire Primary

The first primary in the nation (Iowa is a caucus system) produced at least seven conclusions in my mind.  They include:

#1 - In 2008 John McCain received 37.1% of the vote and Romney received 31.6%.  This year Romney seems to have been above 39%.  Put another way Romney improved his standing by almost 8%. Romney broke out of the 25% that most of his opponents thought he was stuck in.
#2 - Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry got about 11% between them; time to reconsider their runs.  A couple of 2008 candidates had the good sense to pull out.  Gingrich will continue to try to be a spoiler.  The longer he stays in, the less he will be a national figure.
#3 - Ron Paul went from just under 8% to 23% - that is a pretty good rate of growth.  What this suggests is that there is a substantial part of the GOP electorate that does not want government to grow.  If Romney wants to win in November - he will need to message to them.  I suspect that most of Paul's looney ideas - like disengaging from the world - do not have a large following.   But his economics will be an important part of any potential winning coalition.
#4 - Surprisingly, more than half of the voters choose a Mormon candidate; so much for the fantasy that voters are wary of Mormons.   There is, indeed, a group of Christian voters who will not vote for a Mormon.  One hopes that at least some of them will follow Dennis Prager's dictum - he would vote for a candidate with similar political views even if he disagreed with a candidate's theology.  I suspect most American voters will not be in the camp that automatically rejects a person for his religious beliefs.  Romney also beat Santorum even among Evangelicals. (According to Exit Polls)
#5 - Huntsman's results were a bit under where many observers thought they would be.   I suspect he will not be the final candidate but he may give Romney some room to adjust his messages.   Gingrich will continue to be the bitchy loser he has been for the last two weeks.   But let's see what Huntsman can do in South Carolina.   Romney's tax message is in need of some significant modification and Huntsman may give him a chance to do that.
#6 - Voters in this primary were down a bit from 2008.  But the majority of voters are looking for someone who can be competitive against Obama and two thirds of the voters with that need - chose Romney.  But according to the WSJ only about half of the voters here called themselves conservatives.  In next week's race almost two thirds of them are.  Romney got a larger percentage of the voters that are angry about Obama (Fox news exit polls) - that is significant.
#7 - The debates are building interest in the race.  A high percentage of voters who made their minds up late were influenced by the debates.   In spite of the absurd performance by George Stephanopolous.

5 comments:

Garry Ladouceur said...

Its not just the numbers that matter in these small places. 29 per cent of a bit of hard scrabble is not much in the end.

Romneys mormonism is going to get him in the end, that and the Bainful influence of his past life as a wall street pirate and if not now, than in the real election against Obama.

The economy will get better and Obama will benefit while Romney loses since he is running on the fact that the economy is bad.

Ron Paul is scary. In the end the other candidates will declare for Romney, except for Gingrich who will probably end up declaring for Obama. chuckle.

Dr. Tax in Sacramento said...

Not sure I agree with the conclusions offered - obviously not a Romney voter. But I think my analysis stands on its own. Only 18% of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction - that does not make a slam dunk for anyone.

Garry Ladouceur said...

I am not an American so I cant vote. I like your style of addressing the issues and your level headed responses since I cant seem to get you to come out of character despite my worse.

I dont think that lumping Obama with the so called politicians from the republican side of the equation works because this current crop of republican presidential hopefuls are clearly from the lunatic fringe.

Obama s only advantage is that he is sane and this is the killer advantage. I think Americans are starting to see this. Take these statistics....

Rush Limbaugh's ratings have fallen sharply in recent months, according to a new report by Arbitron.

Limbaugh still has the top-rated radio talk show in the country, but his audience has dropped by 33 percent since October. And he's not the only one--Sean Hannity's ratings have also slipped by 28 percent.

I can see a lot of head scratching going on. The hand has moved from the crotch throughout this debating season. I do hope Romney wins actually. He will be minced by Obama come the fall.

Dr. Tax in Sacramento said...

I actually met Limbaugh when he was in Sacramento - he was smart but not very well educated individual. I get tired of his rants although my politics are probably closer that to me than you.

Garry Ladouceur said...

I think Americans have different politics. Politics matter it seems and one administration can do a lot, i.e., like have a civil war. Electing someone to run the most heavily armed, nuclear and all, the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world is a significant act. I should not forget that.

I was born in Canada but am now a swiss citizen. Politics dont mean much since pols cant really do much in these free countries.

So, it is a bit of a game really for me. We are much more influenced by what happens in the world, In Canada, by the USA and their need for our oil and resources and in Switzerland which has a wonderful democracy and a whole pile of private money and nanotech know how in a troubled european sea.